There are many factors to consider when choosing the best audio loudspeaker for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Size: Audiophile speakers come in various shapes and sizes, but generally fit into two categories: bookshelf or floor standing. Bookshelf speakers are generally around one-foot tall and are a great choice if you’re setting up a home theater in a living room or master bedroom. Floor standing speakers can be around three-feet tall, so they’re a better choice if you have a larger space, like an open basement or den.
Drivers: Drivers are the part of the speaker that produce sound; generally, larger drivers are better, but their material and location on the speaker matters, too. All of the speakers we’ve chosen for this guide have multiple drivers, which handle different frequencies, so music will sound clear and accurate.
Passive vs. Active: Audiophile speakers can be active (powered) or passive (unpowered). Passive speakers have no built-in amplification, which means you need to connect them to a stereo receiver for them to work. Active speakers are a more all-in-one solution; they have a preamp, volume controls, and inputs (ports that let you plug devices into them) on the speakers themselves.
This guide features a mix of passive and active speakers to accommodate different space constraints. Passive speakers are the right choice if you have a lot of room, while the all-in-one design of active speakers make them a better bet if you’re short on space. Keep in mind active speakers are heavier than passive ones, and can have smaller drivers because the speaker housing has to accommodate a lot more hardware.